The future of the left since 1884

Keir Starmer MP on public services: From the archive


As 4 July approaches, the parlous state of our public services – especially the NHS – is becoming a focal point of the election campaign. Many of those who vote for Labour on polling day, including for the first time, will be doing so on the understanding that the party has a plan to rebuild a shattered public realm.

In 2016, the newly-elected Keir Starmer MP argued that this plan cannot simply equate to more money. In an essay for the Fabian collection Future Left, edited by Andrew Harrop and Ed Wallis, he advocated a new approach to public service reform, based around long-term, horizontal, and decentralised structures.

What Labour’s electoral wins in 1945, 1964 and 1997 tell us is that if real change is offered in a way that speaks to people’s hopes and aspirations (and those they harbour for their children) and by a party they trust, the British people will vote for it.

Much has changed in the interim – but this article remains a compelling insight into the guiding principles and motivations of the man likely to be our next prime minister.

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Keir Starmer MP

Keir Starmer is the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras and leader of the Labour party.


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